You need to check out what Thomas Vander Wal has to say at Personal Infocloud on the "Granular Social Network" because the insights are meaningful, not just interesting. The idea is that as individuals we each have specific interests. We are connected to other individuals each with their own specific interests, which are not necessarily the same as the interests we have. While, for example, many members of our personal network might share an interest in music - a. we only know what music they are interested in when they share that with us - so we may know they love hip hop and while they love classical too, they may not have told anyone. Plus our interest in knowing what they like might wax and wane according to who it is and the moment of time we're in.
Problem is that the tools that are out there for capturing the conversation of the digital social networks don't understand this complexity and aren't organized to capture it according to what is being shared or the weight of the interest in what is being shared by all and each of the individuals involved in the network, so the level of knowledge that businesses or whoever has of actual interactions among network members is minimal and often not even right - though it may seem right.
This dovetails, though is not identical to, my thinking on the personal value chain and how each individual has their own value chain (see the posting on The Company Like Me Part I for details). What affects someone and what is important to that someone is not an easy thing to figure out and often when someone responds to you in a way that you love or hate, the reason for that response may have little to do with you as a person or as a business.
Problem is for businesses to get that "perfect" customer record and that Holy HOLY HOLY Grail of a 360 degree view of a customer, they have to be able to capture as much of that granularity as they can so that they can enrich their knowledge of their customers, but also so that the customer can have the optimal experience that his makeup allows him to because the company has gotten the approximation (best they can do) of a peer level knowledge of that customer and provided him with what he needs, accordingly. All this emanating from a personal value chain which is impacted by his granular social network.
Keep in mind one thing. Because of the complexity of relationships, and because of the spirited independence of the individual human soul (generally) the company can never CONTROL the personal value chain that has been impacted by this granular social network. Humans are just too damned singular!!
Listen and watch this Thomas Vander Wal video treatment of the granular social network.
Granular Social Network from Thomas Vander Wal on Vimeo.